St. Etienne is a huge bicycle manufacturing town. Notice those yellow vehicles of neutral support following the cyclists in the Tour? They're provided by Mavic, the company based in St. Etienne that manufactures bicycle wheels. Mavic supplies neutral support for major cycling races all over the world.
Team Columbia have again had a chance to shine, as Marcus Burghardt won today's stage, beating Team Quickstep's Carlos Barredo to the line. They attacked early in the race, working together until close to the end, leaving times pretty much the same for all those GC contenders in the pack. With Carlos Sastre of CSC still in the yellow jersey, everyone is now focused on Saturday's time trial (GO CADEL!). Hang in there, knitters -- you're almost to Paris!!
Yellow: Carlos Sastre (CSC)
Green: Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
PolkaDot/KOM: Bernard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
White: Andy Schleck (CSC)
Lantern Rouge: You know who
Final Intermediate Sprint
We all know the final sprint up the Champs-Elysees is one of the most exciting moments of any green jersey contender's life... in this final sprint, we're giving ALL the jersey categories the chance to experience the thrill of a great finish!
Give us a highlights package of your TDFKAL. What were your goals for the Tour and have you met them? Did you have some major stage wins? Are you going home with the yellow jersey (or other equally wearable item)? Or did you spectacularly crash into a labrador or run off the side of a mountain? Did your equipment break down mid-race, leaving you stranded on the side of the road waiting for the team car? We want the blow-by-blow account using your very best sportscaster voice, Franglais, and/or cycling metaphors! (The use of Phil and Paulisms is optional but looked on favourably!)Now, we know that many of you are still racing against the clock to finish your projects by the 27th, which is why entries for this sprint will stay open until July 29th! Just enough time for the press photographers to snap your photo as you cross the finish line. The thrill of victory will not go unrewarded. The grand prix of the TDFKAL, awarded on the basis of a popular vote, will be a selection of Real French Tour de France Souvenirs collected for us in France by our very own Tour participant, Heather!!!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post with a link to your entry by midnight, PARIS TIME, on 29th July. Bonne chance!
And on a related note - Don't forget to vote for Intermediate Sprint #2! Polls will remain open for just another 24 hours!!
Team Lampre update: Stacey is working away at the gull lace on the February Lady Sweater...photos at a later date as she is busy drooling over some new hand dyed yarn.
Look at the storm of WIPs Donni has been finishing up, all lovely indeed: The Stash cowl of her own soon-to-be-available design; the Lina mini-cable hat; and the Moebius in her own handspun yarn (Pssst....Donni - those are my colors!).Donna is thiiiiiis close to finishing Tempest - just the seaming remains.Our poor Ann has not had a happy Tour. Turns out the Brea Bag is not her cup of tea, especially using a linen yarn that is not pleasant to work with. In my book if it ain't fun, it ain't worth the knitting!
And still in yellow, Team CSC:
CathyAnn is done one sleeve and working on the other. She still hasn't dealt with the sizing of the peplum issue, but will readdress that when she's done the sleeves.(and it sounds like CathyAnn has a little crush on the Schleck brothers...anyone else??)
And I'm DONE!! My February Lady sweater was completed just as I watched the primetime coverage of the climb up Alpe d'Huez. I will block it tonight and have pics to unveil on the weekend.
Team Liquigas is plunging on ahead as its members complete their projects in good time. Amy's socks are done and looking wonderful.
Nancy has been a busy knitter, and her stole is not only finished, but blocked as well.
Gemma reports that she has finishe the left front and back of her minimalist cardigan and one Spring Forward sock. She has, however, "completed over 150 hours of PhD data entry and nearly finished a chapter draft! Which explains my poor show!" You're doing a good job, Gemma, keep up the good work!
And me, you ask? How are my green monkeys coming along? Um. Well.... They're.... coming? I've been quite distracted by work, other sewing projects, and life in general. I am almost at the toe of sock 1 (which is a slow, sad shame for me) and I promise pictures when this sock is done! Now, I should probably go update my blog. Hmm...
The lowdown on the highlights from Camp Credit Agricole Pas beaucoup de belement from the flying sheep tonight - we're too busy knitting.
Look at Lyn's mountain of Montparnasse - if she could have back all the knitting she's unravelled she'd be done and dusted by now. Sterling effort Lyn!
Rachel, who has turned out to be the engine room of the team just keeps going with that knitting. Lovely back view of her enviably even ribbing today - my compliments Rachel - I hate doing the ribbing! I don't mind admitting I nearly pitched over my handlebars when I saw Gina's latest progress report - I had no idea it was so BIG until she included herself in the photo - that's acres of crochet! I am truly impressed.
Our team paparazza, Marci has brought us another scoop today. Look - team bus with gilet!!!
And who's that bloke in the yellow?
Helen's Bellini, renamed the Bon Chance has been making v bon progress. Helen is on her favourite bit - the sewing up - we feel your pain Helen but it will be worth it when you wear it for the final sprint.As for me, I've now broken through the 100 row mark on Le Germolene so every extra row's a bonus! Happy days!